^^ our US Senate Republican primary endorsee : Beth Lindstrom at east Boston National Night Out, with Jack Harper of North Suffolk Mental Health Center
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We begin today’s endorsements with the three-way Republican Primary for United States Senator. The winner of this primary will face Senator Elizabeth Warren. It will be a very difficult task for any challenger to out-vote Warren, but our Senator should have the strongest available opponent, the better to debate all of the issues. And there are some. Even if you agree with most of Warren’s general policy direction — and I do — her specific recommendations seem not well thought out, and she has a tendency to speak carelessly. She may well run for President, and if she does so, she will need to up her preparedness substantially. A strong opponent on the November ballot will force her to do better.
It’s also crucial that her opponent be able to represent the majority of our state’s voters and do so with idealism and innovative policy advocacy. Warren’s opponent might win; and we cannot have a Senator who acts divisively or irresponsibly toward the majority, especially of City voters and activists.
Given all of the above, we endorse Beth Lindstrom. The panel’s vote was 8 for Lindstrom, 3 for John Kingston, and none for Geoff Diehl.
Mr. Diehl was Mr. Trump’s Massachusetts campaign chairman — enough said. Mr. Kingston has made the effort to reach out to City voters, and his support from our panel shows that his reach has not been in vain. Our panel’s three Kingston voters like his “outsider” status and his direct talk: one said “he walks the walk.” Yet, for us, Mr. Kingston, who began as the most anti-Trump of the three — he supported Gary Johnson in 2016 — has come to advocate Trumpian views on immigration and borders. These have no force here in Boston, where 200,000 immigrants live under the threat of ambush and deportation. Our immigration laws badly need total reform. Mr. Kingston has offered no reform plan.
Beth Lindstrom, on the other hand, has ( 1 ) campaigned extensively in Boston and engaged in many useful policy conversations with all manner of activists. She continues to do so. ( 2 ) On immigration, she supports enacting a pathway to citizenship for DACA’s 1,800,000 eligibles and citizenship for those who do two tours of combat duty in our Armed Forces. She supports making permanent the residency status of our City’s thousands of “TPS” immigrants. She supports generous asylum and refugee admissions.
( 3 ) She also seems to have the support of Governor Baker’s activist team — a very good prospect, because Governor Baker is a reformer par excellence, comfortable with innovation and open to every sort of imaginative policy initiative, particularly in the areas of climate resiliency, mass transit expansion, and workforce housing development. If Lindstrom becomes our Senator, her readiness to advocate for Baker’s reform priorities, in state and in Congress, will benefit us all. For those taking a Republican ballot next Tuesday, we urge a vote for Beth Lindstrom.
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And now to our second group of Democratic Primary endorsements :
11th Suffolk State Representative : we endorse Liz Malia for re-election. The unanimous vote was 8 to 0. (A few of our panel did not vote in this race.) Malia has two opponents, Ture Turnbull, a leading advocate of single-payer health insurance, and Charles Clemons Mohammed, who opposed Malia in 2016. Malia has represented half of Jamaica Plain, parts of Roslindale, and Fort Hill Roxbury since 1998. No one in the legislature works harder or is better prepared., Her newsletters to constituents are required reading for those who want to know the specifics of committee debates and the politics of reform : can a bill get enough votes or not, and if not, why not. Malia’s advocacy was crucial to our state becoming the first to enact marriage equality. Her voice for the “progressive caucus” agenda remains the most persuasive; she never succumbs to impatience or intransigence, and she is better able, it seems, than most “progressives” to persuade her constituents that “steady as she goes” is the most effective reform course. We strongly support the re-election of Liz Malia.
14th Suffolk State Representative : Hyde Park, Readville, and most of Roslindale have had Angelo M. Scaccia as their representative since 1981, and for some terms before that. He is the “dean of the House.” As in 2106, he has two opponents, civil rights attorney Gretchen van Ness and NAACP Board member Segun Idowu. If Scaccia had only one opponent, he would likely face a difficult race, as the District has become majority people of color, and 40 years in office is a tough sell in this year of “change can’t wait.” In addition, Scaccia holds old-fashioned social issue views. He was the only Suffolk County representative, of 19, to vote “nay” on the landmark transgender Public accommodation s civil rights bill that was signed into law in 2016. That said, Scaccia is deeply rooted in the Readville portion of the District — perhaps its single most important neighborhood — and, even at age mid-70s, knocks doors as energetically as any 30-year old. Scaccia may well hand off the seat to a newcomer in 2020, but this year — one in which the lejgislature rose to every reform occasion — seems not that time. the vote to endorse him was 5 to 1, the one vote being for van Ness, who has some support among “progressives.” We endorse Angelo M. Scaccia for re-election.
4th Suffolk State Representative : This seat is vacant, Nick Collins having been elected State senator for the South Boston and Dorchester District. Two candidates are running: David Biele, a former aide to Collins, and Matt Rusteika. Only 5 people of our eleven-member panel voted in this contest, but the vote was unanimous. Rusteika probably should have greater support than he does : he touts his work on the state’s C lean Energy plan, a Governor Baker priority. Yet Biele fits the strong tradition, in South Boston, of succession within the system. He also boasts a Boston Latin School, Boston College, and Boston College Law School education. One panelist said of Biele, “great guy, polished, knows the State House well.” A unanimous 5 to 0 vote of our panel gives David Biele our endorsement.
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There are several other contests on the September 4th Democratic Primary ballot. We have not followed these others closely, but this is what is happening there:
In the 9th Suffolk State Representative District, long-time incumbent Byron Rushing faces John Santiago, a physician at Longwood Medical Center. Santiago received endorsement by the Ward 4 Democratic Committee, Rushing’s home organization. Can Rushing, a progressive stalwart, be beaten ? In this year of “deserves re-election” ? We will see.
12th Suffolk State Representative : incumbent Dan Cullinane has a rematch with Jovan Lacet, who came very close to defeating Cullinane in 2016. No legislator works harder or has greater command of the Budget than Cullinane, yet demographic change — the District is majority Haitian-American — may be too much this time for Cullinane to overcome. This could be Suffolk County;s closest legislative primary race.
5th Suffolk State Representative : again, an open seat, Evandro Carvalho having decided to seek the office of Suffolk District Attorney. Three candidates seek to succeed him : Liz Miranda, Director of the Hawthorne Community Center in Fort Hill, that neighborhood’s premier community institution; Darrin D. Howell, who served as an aide to then City Councillor Chuck Turner, and who has some union endorsements; and perennial candidate Roy Owens. Mirnada, who is of cape Verdean heritage in this Cape Verdean-plurality District, received three votes from our panel — most of the eleven did not know enough of this race to vote — with none for Howell or Owens. Three is not enough for us to endorse, but i will note that I know Miranda, and I know the Hawthorne Center well, and I was one of her three votes by our panel.
3rd Congressional District : Niki Tsongas having decided not to seek re-election, ten Democratic candidates have stepped up to seek her Congress seat. I did not ask our panel to vote in this race because we ar4e all Boston types, and this seat runs from Framingham to Lowell to Lawrence and Haverhill. Of my facebook friends, who are almost all political types, some support Alexandra Chandler, an intelligence analyst; some support Barbara L’Italien, currently Lawrence, Andover, Tewksbury, and drcut’s State Senator; some support Lawrence State Representative Juana Matias. Yet others support Lori Trahan, as do I. Trahan is close to Governor Baker, and that bodes well for the kind of bipartisan co-operation that exists presently between Mike Capuano, who represents the 7th District, and Baker. She also hails from Lowell, the seat’s hub and economic center.
—- Mike Freedberg / for the panel at Here and Sphere